Environmental Perceptions of Rural South African Residents: The Complex Nature of Environmental Concern.

Institute of Behavioral Science, Program on Environment and Society, Department of Sociology, University of Colorado at Boulder.
Society and Natural Resources (Impact Factor: 1.09). 06/2010; 23(6):525-541. DOI: 10.1080/08941920903357782
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The state of the local environment shapes the well-being of millions of rural residents in developing nations. Still, we know little of these individuals' environmental perceptions. This study analyzes survey data collected in an impoverished, rural region in northeast South Africa, to understand the factors that shape concern with local environmental issues. We use the "post-materialist thesis" to explore the different explanations for environmental concern in less developed regions of the world, with results revealing the importance of both cultural and physical context. In particular, gendered interaction with natural resources shapes perceptions, as does the local setting. Both theoretical and policy implications are discussed.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper presents the findings of a systematic review of scholarly publications that report empirical findings from studies of environmentally-related international migration. There exists a small, but growing accumulation of empirical studies that consider environmentally-linked migration that spans international borders. These studies provide useful evidence for scholars and policymakers in understanding how environmental factors interact with political, economic and social factors to influence migration behavior and outcomes that are specific to international movements of people, in highlighting promising future research directions, and in raising important considerations for international policymaking. Our review identifies countries of migrant origin and destination that have so far been the subject of empirical research, the environmental factors believed to have influenced these migrations, the interactions of environmental and non-environmental factors as well as the role of context in influencing migration behavior, and the types of methods used by researchers. In reporting our findings, we identify the strengths and challenges associated with the main empirical approaches, highlight significant gaps and future opportunities for empirical work, and contribute to advancing understanding of environmental influences on international migration more generally. Specifically, we propose an exploratory framework to take into account the role of context in shaping environmental migration across borders, including the dynamic and complex interactions between environmental and non-environmental factors at a range of scales.
    Population and environment. 01/2014; 36:111-135.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In recent years, the empirical literature linking environmental factors and human migration has grown rapidly and gained increasing visibility among scholars and the policy community. Still, this body of research uses a wide range of methodological approaches for assessing environment–migration relationships. Without comparable data and measures across a range of contexts, it is impossible to make generalizations that would facilitate the development of future migration scenarios. Demographic researchers have a large methodological toolkit for measuring migration as well as modeling its drivers. This toolkit includes population censuses, household surveys, survival analysis and multi-level modeling. This paper's purpose is to introduce climate change researchers to demographic data and methods and to review exemplary studies of the environmental dimensions of human migration. Our intention is to foster interdisciplinary understanding and scholarship, and to promote high quality research on environment and migration that will lead toward broader knowledge of this association.
    Global Environmental Change. 01/2014; 28:182–191.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Given the significance of human behavior as a major driver of most environmental problems, it is generally agreed that efforts to promote global ecological and economic sustainability must now include attempts to understand public perceptions of, and attitudes toward, environmental issues. Research findings generally indicate that attitudes are important determinants of ecological behaviors, and over time, scientists have strived to develop sound measurement instruments for studying public environmental attitudes. Of these attitude measures, the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) scale stands out as being the most widely accepted with documented validity and reliability. In this study, the NEP scale was used to examine environmental attitudes among 355 university students in Ibadan, Nigeria. Overall, the Nigerian students were found to have a lower endorsement of the pro-ecological ideologies included in the NEP compared with similar samples from other cultural contexts. However, a strong consensus was observed among the sample on the fragility of nature’s balance and possibility of eco-crisis facets of the NEP. The findings of the study are discussed in the context of relevant Nigerian social and cultural factors, and recommendations for future research are provided.
    Environment Development and Sustainability 03/2013; 15:1477-1494.

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
Aug 7, 2014